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Old 06-01-2012, 05:04 PM
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Default The most exotic handgun ever made?

There have been threads here covering ugly guns, beautiful guns, highest quality guns, etc., but I'd like to start a new category - the most exotic guns.

It's no secret I've long been a fan of the classic Mauser C96 "broomhandle" pistols. They were first manufactured way back in 1896. Winston Churchill carried one in battle; they were a staple of the German army in WWI and were also used extensively by both the Germans and the Russians during WWII. One was used in the extermination of Czar Nicholas of Russia and his family during the Bolshevik revolution. They were slow to load with stripper clips, and were a bit awkward to handle, with the magazine in front of the trigger guard. Still, they worked amazingly well. Variations on the design were made in 7.63mm Mauser, 9mm Luger, and even .45 ACP. A few were even produced as selective fire weapons. Equipped with the optional shoulder stock holster, they could connect at longer ranges; the sights were optimistically graduated to 1000 meters.

In my mind, no other pistol made before or since, with the possible exception of the Borchardt pistol (predecessor to the Luger), is as exotic - if you will, sexy. These have been used in movies from the beginning, and on TV. Even "star wars" troopers, with the venue set in the future, used them.

Here are some photos I've taken of this exotic handgun. Do you agree?

John





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Old 06-01-2012, 05:15 PM
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Hmmm , depends on your definition of 'exotic' , and how many odd pistols you've experienced.

First one that came to my mind seeing the Broomhandle was a Borchardt. Mostly because I've never handled or fired one. There were several other 'Broomhandle-style' pistols , many made by Astra.

There's some select-fire and full-auto pistols.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:33 PM
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John-

You have a typo. That's 7.63mm, not 7.65mm. Mausers in 7.65mm are .32 acp's, as you surely know. Models like the 1914 and 1934 and HSc...

Of course, there was a 7.65mm Luger round, but that's not what the big military Mauser used.

Those are terrific photos, as usual with you.

I don't know just how to define "exotic", but you are on the right track.

I like those pistols, and included one in a fan fiction story set around the time of WW I. An Arab sultan was buying them from Mauser. Used a Model 1914 .32 in another tale featuring the same heroine. The guns added period "flavor", I think.

The reworked ones in Star Wars were also easily spotted as what they once were. But they certainly looked futuristic and effective. I think Han Solo's had a 'scope sight, though, which I thought was overkill on a service-type holster gun.

Thanks for the topic. I nominate the Japanese Type 94 as runner-up. It looks like a cartoon gun, to me, anyway.

Oh: just recalled that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews mentioned seeing a lot of those Mausers in China and Mongolia in the 1930's, during his scientific expeditions there.

Last edited by Texas Star; 06-01-2012 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:46 PM
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John-

You have a typo. That's 7.63mm, not 7.65mm. Mausers in 7.65mm are .32 acp's, as you surely know. Models like the 1914 and 1934 and HSc...
Right on - corrected in the original post!

John
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:43 PM
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I'll go an entirely different direction.........I have always liked the Elmer Keith #5. There, I said it out loud and I am really a S&W guy. Keep shootin
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
There have been threads here covering ugly guns, beautiful guns, highest quality guns, etc., but I'd like to start a new category - the most exotic guns.

It's no secret I've long been a fan of the classic Mauser C96 "broomhandle" pistols. They were first manufactured way back in 1896. Winston Churchill carried one in battle; they were a staple of the German army in WWI and were also used extensively by both the Germans and the Russians during WWII. One was used in the extermination of Czar Nicholas of Russia and his family during the Bolshevik revolution. They were slow to load with stripper clips, and were a bit awkward to handle, with the magazine in front of the trigger guard. Still, they worked amazingly well. Variations on the design were made in 7.63mm Mauser, 9mm Luger, and even .45 ACP. A few were even produced as selective fire weapons. Equipped with the optional shoulder stock holster, they could connect at longer ranges; the sights were optimistically graduated to 1000 meters.

In my mind, no other pistol made before or since, with the possible exception of the Borchardt pistol (predecessor to the Luger), is as exotic - if you will, sexy. These have been used in movies from the beginning, and on TV. Even "star wars" troopers, with the venue set in the future, used them.

Here are some photos I've taken of this exotic handgun. Do you agree?

John





Now, THIS is one handgun that should be resurrected albeit in a modern caliber...such as 357 SIG, .40 S&W, etc etc etc. With modern materials, I cannot help but wonder...
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:50 PM
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For me as a complete revolver nut this one. I really hope that I can raise some cash someday to own it.

Mauser Zig Zag model of 1878. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:54 PM
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Beautiful gun and conversation piece, nice pics!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:00 PM
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I wouldnt mind owning a nice merwin & hulbert army revolver with two barrels.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:36 PM
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OWWWW. A model 1 with a skullcrusher grip and a shortbarrel.
I am right there. That is one of my big wishes to.

About 21 years ago I could buy one for 1500 Dutch guilders.
That is about 700 euro now a day.

I couldend afford it then becouse I did had a young family and I worked alone.
Now my wife have a job I have a job. But the nice Merwin, Hulbert and Co are still overpriced for me and more than doubled their price. But now in euro's.

Ho well. Maybe some day when the kids are finished with school.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:23 AM
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Paladin: Absolutely gorgeous, and yes, very exotic. The condition of that oue is simply superb; it looks like it came out of the factory yesterday. I think the sight graduations are a little off: in his autobiography, "Edwardian Heydays"., George Cornwallis-West described shooting on a rifle range with the Mauser. The distance was 500 yards, and he had to use the 800 meter sight setting to hit it.

I have a few, but none as nice as yours. However, forgetting the condition, the exotic factor on the one in the thumbnail is pretty high.

Thuer: Is that a 9mm Mauser Zig-zag or a 10.6mm? The separation of the locking ring from the trigger guard makes me think 9mm.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
Variations on the design were made in 7.63mm Mauser, 9mm Luger, and even .45 ACP.
Don't forget the 9mm Mauser Export cartridge, which launched a 128g bullet at around 1350 fps for something over 500 ft.lbs. muzzle energy. Why this round never displaced the 9x19mm is a mystery to me.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:20 AM
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C96s are definitely cool and exotic.
Years ago, I had the pleasure of firing a full-auto one.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:38 AM
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If you use the dictionary definition of "exotic" (strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual), I would offer the Kriss .45 pistol.



The vector operating system (recoil reduction) is unlike anything else that I have ever shot. I find one hand shooting of the Kriss produces less recoil than I get with my 7.63 or 9mm broomhandles.

As far as exotic looks go, it's 19th Century vs 21st Century (you love it or you hate it).

Mark
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:17 AM
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I have always wanted a Broomhandle, they are just out of my price range now. There was a nice on at the shop recently. It had the rifle stock but that was a repro (nice one though)

Guess I will settle for a Glock 19
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
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Paladin: Absolutely gorgeous, and yes, very exotic. The condition of that oue is simply superb; it looks like it came out of the factory yesterday. I think the sight graduations are a little off: in his autobiography, "Edwardian Heydays"., George Cornwallis-West described shooting on a rifle range with the Mauser. The distance was 500 yards, and he had to use the 800 meter sight setting to hit it.
Mine definitely has a 1000 meter setting. If you look closely at the last picture you can see it. As I said, I think that's a really optimistic sight!

John
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:05 PM
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Don't forget the 9mm Mauser Export cartridge, which launched a 128g bullet at around 1350 fps for something over 500 ft.lbs. muzzle energy. Why this round never displaced the 9x19mm is a mystery to me.
Forgot about those. They were made, as I recall, primarily for the South American market. The round was so close in performance to the well-established 9x19mm Luger round that it never caught on. Still, the roughly equivalent .38 Super did get established (by Colt in 1911-type guns), and is still going fairly strong, particularly in Mexico.

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Old 06-02-2012, 12:12 PM
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I think the S&W Olympic rapid fire prototype is the most exotic gun I have ever seen or held. To my knowledge only one was ever made, and don't know what ever happened to it.

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Old 06-02-2012, 12:43 PM
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Shooting a Schnellfeuer.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:04 PM
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Shooting a Schnellfeuer.

That reminds me that I once saw a Mauser 7.63mm fired at dusk. Impressive flash!


Thanks for the terrific photo!
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:08 PM
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John-

How'd you rig the stocked pistol for that shot with the bolt open and the sight showing?

All of your photos are exceptional, but that one really takes the cake!
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:33 PM
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Anyone come across a Mars pistol?

Mars Automatic Pistol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:53 PM
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I been thinkin' about this a little. I love the broomhandle and have had the opportunity to play with a couple. Interesting gun to be sure! As far as true exotics, I think my vote would have to go to the GyroJet, though. One of a kind concept there. As far as an exotic I might own, the Thompsen TA5 would be cool!
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:40 PM
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Can anyone tell me if the “broomhandle” was ever adapted to accept a sound suppressor?
Thanks all.

John, as always the photos are exceptional.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:09 PM
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Not nearly as exotic as the Mauser, but I do have a Mamba pistol, there were only a couple of hundred ever manufactured -- Rhodesia was facing an arms embargo and designed and manufactured the Mamba pistol, I think some may have been manufactured in Soth Africa as well. All stainless steel construction, very solidly made, sort of a modified copy of a Browning Hi-Power -- exotic more for it's locale of manufacture and the raison'detre for it's manufacture -- a country fighting for it's survival amidst a civil war and hamstrung with an arms embargo.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:11 PM
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John-

How'd you rig the stocked pistol for that shot with the bolt open and the sight showing?

All of your photos are exceptional, but that one really takes the cake!
Thanks for the compliment! That shot took a bit of planning and post-processing.

First, I attached the shoulder stock to the gun with the action open. I placed it in an upright position over some white countertop board, and anchored it in that position with a couple of flower pots (they were all I could find that were heavy on our back porch) on each side of the rear of the stock. I took the shot from a tripod, trying to get good depth of field with a tight aperture. This was natural light in the shade. I took a number of shots, varying the exposure time until the gun looked right against a near-white background. I saved the shot in RAW format so that I could tweak the exposure on the gun and the background.

Then in PhotoShop Elements 10, I increased the contrast, and applied a blanket lavender color to substitute for the white background in the original shot. I cropped it to eliminate the flowerpots holding the back of the stock, and converted the shot to .jpg format. Voila!

I love to experiment with such shots - so much more is possible with digital photography than in the film era. Today, you can't really believe anything you see that was taken with a digital camera, as so many types of manipulation are possible with the right software.

Hope this explains the shot.

John
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